Thu | Dec 14, 2017

NEPA responds to sand-mining claims

Published:Saturday | August 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

We refer to The Gleaner news story on Page A7 titled 'I am not involved in any illegal sand mining - Russell', with a subheadline, 'How could NEPA give them permission?', and deemed it important to respond, correct an erroneous assertion, and provide clarification.

We wish to once again, by way of correction, empathically and unequivocally state that Prime Minister Andrew Holness did not overturn the NRCA/NEPA's decision at appeal on the Duncans Bay Development Company Limited (DBDCL) sand-mining application. In fact, the prime minister did not hear the appeal on the matter or provide any direction.

The appeal in question was heard by Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments. The minister has statutory authority to hear appeals.

We are not aware of sand-mining operations taking place at Duncans Bay. The matter of illegal sand mining will be investigated with the help of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and, if verified, will lead to the appropriate legal action.

Finally, we have reviewed our file going back to 2010 and the applications received from DMDCL, as well as the accompanying title. The review determined that Lot 226 is owned by the developer. In light of the concern about ownership, the agency will dialogue with the commissioner of lands to seek to authenticate the title on record.

PETER KNIGHT

CEO/Government Town Planner

NEPA